The press office of the US president confirmed what many leaks already pointed out: in the best style that seems to characterize Trump’s foreign and domestic policy, the Hanoi summit passed in a matter of minutes from euphoria to failure.
The American statement, concise but more than explicit, acknowledged that no agreement had been reached – although it had already been announced even the time of its signing – and simply pointed out that the two teams “expect to meet in the future.”
Trump would explain hours later his version of this sudden disagreement, which according to his story was based on North Korea’s demand that the US support the lifting of all sanctions in exchange for a partial dismantling of its nuclear arsenal.
The president clarified that Kim Jong -un had offered to shut down the Yongbyon plant, which for years was the central axis of its nuclear program, but not a second uranium processing facility that Washington has identified.
“It’s a big plant but it’s not enough, we wanted more, including that second uranium plant, I want to end the sanctions but they have to do more things, sometimes you have to be ready to get up (from the negotiating table)” .
The president admitted that the American vision of what “denuclearization” means still does not coincide with the North Korean. “It’s not exactly our vision but it’s closer than a year ago,” he added.
Both the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to describe this appointment as a failure and defined it as “very productive”, “constructive” and “interesting”, noting that both teams said goodbye “shaking hands” and “in a way very friendly “, a description that contrasts with the diplomatic rude that supposes especially for Vietnam, the cancellation of the official program that had been planned for this day.
When a reporter asked Trump if he could anticipate when he will meet again with Kim Jong-un, the president took refuge in ambiguity: “we would like it to be soon or it may not happen for a long time”.